January 19, 2016

"What is it with the giggling about Trump saying 'Two Corinthians' instead of 'Second Corinthians'? Either one sounds fine to me."

Says John Henry in the comments 2 posts down and referring to the nontroversy of the day.

I know. It's like laughing at somebody for saying a date as 19 January instead of the 19th of January. Who the hell cares?

Feels like the beginning of a joke....

Two Corinthians walk into a bar. The first Corinthian says "Boy, do I need some spirit." And the second Corinthian says "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." And the first Corinthian "Okay, make mine the Lord."

206 comments:

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eric said...

It's a cultural thing. It's like asking Obama, what's the color of the flag? And he responds, blue, white and red.

He is right, but red blooded Americans say, Red, White and Blue.

Christians who go to Church say, 2nd Corinthians.

Michael K said...

Boy ! Big serious policy discussions !

Paddy O said...

I learned to say one John, two Corinthians, etc. and so on, in my relatively conservative Evangelical seminary.

It's a Britishism (most of my profs were UK educated). I still use it when I'm not thinking about context. It's easier to say. To this day, the UK universities offer the most prestigious degrees in Biblical studies, so it makes sense that their usage has broader influence.

First John, Second Corinthians, etc. and so on are certainlythe usual in the States, but doesn't suggest much at all other than a slight disconnect from Trump's usual populism. Likely came from a staffer that has some seminary or other academic religious background.

Or, to use conventional rationalizing of Trump, it's because he is globally influenced and reflects his ecumenical brilliance to bring the whole church back together again under his benevolent guidance. GSTT

rehajm said...

Canadians impersonating Americans expose themselves this way all the time.

John Henry said...

I am honored!

A man gives his pastor a couple of bottles of wine and asks the him to mention where he got them.

So on Sunday the pastor stands up and says: "I would like to thank brother James for the lovely gift of fruit and especially for the spirit in which it was given."

John Henry

John Henry said...

Do you go to church regularly, Eric?

Do you study the Bible regularly, Eric?

Do you speak from knowledge or are you just blowing smoke?

John Henry

Freeman Hunt said...

It's funny to evangelicals because it's funny when someone attempts to pander to your culture and says something that betrays his disconnect from it. I haven't heard anyone say anything angry about it, but people do seem amused. I don't think it will hurt him politically.

Unknown said...

He was trying to make a cultural connection and missed. It was obvious to the group he was trying to reach out to that he is an outsider, as is anyone who doesn't see the issue. Minor as it may be.

Schorsch said...

What's Trump's religious background? I was raised Catholic, and I've definitely heard the shorthand "2 Corinthians." "2nd Corinthians" is also nonsensical if taken literally. It's Paul's Second Letter/Epistle to the Corinthians, any shorthand is equally valid.

I'm more concerned about the choice of Letter. It's typical Paul, full of "I...I...me...me..I..." and woeful misunderstanding of the teachings of the faith. Paul is the Trump of the Apostles.

traditionalguy said...

I for one am gonna wait until Trump tries to quote scripture from Isaiah.

If he says I-zay-uh, then he has the right password for the Duck Dynasty swamp.

But if he says I-zie-uh, then we take him out and shoot him just like we do the ducks.

rhhardin said...

Media idiocy "The temperature will rise to 18 degrees today, that's only half our normal high." -- WTVN radio before Rush.

eric said...

Blogger John Henry said...
Do you go to church regularly, Eric?

Do you study the Bible regularly, Eric?

Do you speak from knowledge or are you just blowing smoke?

John Henry


Been going to Church all my life. Stuided in Nashville TN David Lipscomb University to be a minister (it didn't work out). I've been to Catholic Churches, Baptist Churches, Churches of Christ, and non denominational Churches.

I've never, until today, heard 2nd Corinthians to be called two Corinthians. When I was a little kid, we learned a song to teach us the books of the Bible. In that second its first and second Corinthians.

This isn't to say I've been to all Churches. Or that no one says it. Or that it's even wrong to say it. I don't care what someone calls it.

I'm just observing why some people are scandalized by it. Because they've had the same upbringing that I've had and 2 Corinthians sounds like, blue, white and red.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BDNYC said...

It's like Obama saying "corpse-man." An amusing display of ignorance.

Freeman Hunt said...

It would be like telling a player from a football team with new uniforms, "I love your new costumes." It's technically correct but culturally humorous.

Terry said...

So, did Trump's audience of Christians demand that he tear his own tongue out as penance for his mistake?

Humperdink said...

It was reported the students at Liberty were making fun of The Donald on twitter yesterday.

"Two Corinthians walked into a bar ....." was one of them.

eric said...

Blogger traditionalguy said...
I for one am gonna wait until Trump tries to quote scripture from Isaiah.

If he says I-zay-uh, then he has the right password for the Duck Dynasty swamp.

But if he says I-zie-uh, then we take him out and shoot him just like we do the ducks.


I like Trump, but gotta say, some of his fans are jerks.

I'd say you are what Rush calls a seminar caller, but you're not. I wish you were. You make me dislike Trump because he is associated with you.

I know this is the wrong feeling to have, so I fight it. But its there.

Humperdink said...

When in Rome....... Trump's was trying to act like one of the gang at Liberty. Reminds me of someone ordering in French in a French restaurant when you know two words of French.

When it comes to the bible knowledge, Trump is blowing smoke and the Evangelicals (like myself) know it. Which is why Cruz is my guy. Trump might make an adequate back-up, however.

traditionalguy said...

Enjoy your wine and cracker, boys. All Christians are welcome to the table.

Practice Tip: Never try to tell a Calvinist Presbyterian that he is unworthy. That is a politically correct waste of his time.

He is the only one who has accepted Paul's teachings that he was chosen by grace when he was a Totally Depraved man. So what can a sin or two do to make him lose that gift?

AprilApple said...

Tiny mistakes or non-mistakes are yuge for any R. Rodham is allowed to be a crook.

Rick said...

Freeman Hunt said...
It's funny to evangelicals because it's funny when someone attempts to pander to your culture and says something that betrays his disconnect from it.


This is exactly right. I'm agnostic but attend church enough that it jars my ears. Trump is pandering.

Since I am agnostic the nature of Trump's belief's aren't as interesting to me as the media's response. The mainstream media (and left wingers generally) immediately moved to highlight the issue despite their long-held position that examining candidate religious beliefs is inappropriate. Certainly Obama is in the same position as Trump of claiming some nominal religious association even though circumstances show they are secular. Obviously their circumstance doesn't bother me but why is the media acting against its principles for Trump while it protected Obama?

We all know the answer.

Freeman Hunt said...

"So, did Trump's audience of Christians demand that he tear his own tongue out as penance for his mistake?"

Yeah, I've heard evangelicals are a rabid bunch. He needs to keep an ear out for anyone shouting, "Our God is an awesome God!" because that means some major violence is about to go down, and he'd better escape at once.

jacksonjay said...

Hillary quotes,

"I don't feel no ways tired, I come too far..."

Seems disingenous.

Roughcoat said...

I never thought about this before. And I'm a believing Christian.

Freeman Hunt said...

...>keep an ear out for anyone shouting, "Our God is an awesome God!"...

An evangelical joke.

Roughcoat said...

Freeman Hunt:

Reminds me how, at my former RC parish church, the "authorities" removed the "Yaweh is a warrior" passage from our Easter recitations because ... it was too warlike.

So I switched churches. Now I go to a majority Polish RC church. Where Yaweh is indeed a warrior. Still.

Quaestor said...

Do you speak from knowledge or are you just blowing smoke?

People who see significance in Trump's use of "Two Corinthians" over "Second Corinthians" are going to be confounded come November.

traditionalguy said...

Othering every Christian who does not dress like us, smile like us and interpret scripture like us is bad enough for the Stuck in Religion knee jerk crowd seeking a scapegoat to drive out, but saying the Memorized Books of the Bible song different than we do takes the stupid cake.

But that is Ted Cruz consistent. No New York Values there. Tolerance of any differences among Christians is showing weakness to them.

Terry said...

You should always run when you hear a devout Christian say "God is great!" because that means that he is about to use a machete to chop you to pieces, or maybe jab an icepick into your eyeball.
No, wait, that's devout Muslims, not Christians.

TreeJoe said...

Or he could have just had a brain disconnect while reading. I mean honestly, people DO say things that didn't intend to in normal conversation, in prepared speeches, and when reading off a page. Your brain isn't focused on the word you are reading when you are speaking -

J. Farmer said...

It's probably because Trump has never heard the phrase "second Corinthians" before in his life and is probably not that all too familiar with the Bible's contents. He's having to play up the Bible nonsense for the evangelical set. Personally, I'm fine with Trump paying the Bible lip service but in reality just blowing it off.

Fabi said...

I thought it was Two Canadians.

AllenS said...

Give me a break. It wasn't like Obama referring to 57 states.

Rachel said...

It reminds me of this West Wing episode: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/november-web-only/thanks-for-shibboleth.html

It's based on Judges 12:1-6. In the story, men were asked to say the word "shibboleth." If the man couldn't say it correctly, they knew he was an enemy to be killed.

eric said...

Blogger Quaestor said...
Do you speak from knowledge or are you just blowing smoke?

People who see significance in Trump's use of "Two Corinthians" over "Second Corinthians" are going to be confounded come November.


There is significance in this, in that it tells us Trump is pandering to evangelicals. I consider myself an evangelical. And I think he is pandering to me. It's what politicians do. It's also why Cruz is my first choice, because I believe his Christianity is sincere, as is his conservatism. It's not just a pander.

However, Trump looks like an unstoppable force. I think he will get the nomination and win in a landslide in November.

So, if you're trying to say we will be surprised by Trump, maybe your view of evangelicals is one dimensional.

We can walk and chew bubblegum, you know? Realize that Trump isn't culturally an evangelical, and at the same time realize he might make a fantastic President.

And those people making hay over this are probably doing so as a political move. They are signaling to their Tribe. Hey, look, Trump isn't really a Christian, Ted Cruz is, vote for Ted!

Hunter said...

>keep an ear out for anyone shouting, "Our God is an awesome God!"...

An evangelical joke.


He is a great, great God. Just magnificent. Above all the earth!

Roughcoat said...


Fyi, Elmer Gantry cites scripture (1 Corinthians 13:11):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8FaDaTD_hA

Terry said...

Blogger AllenS said...
Give me a break. It wasn't like Obama referring to 57 states.

It's worth reviewing Obama's '57 states' mistake.
Watch the video. It's not a case of mispeaking. He is speaking slowly and deliberately, and he stops and thinks for a moment before he says he's been to fifty-seven states.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws

Michael K said...

"It's like Obama saying "corpse-man." An amusing display of ignorance."

The difference is that Obama is commander in chief. Does he say "Marine Corpse?"

He has probably never even thought of the Marine Corps. He has a Navy Secretary who is in charge of emasculating the Marines.

damikesc said...

I don't suspect Trump is overly religious (if he was, he'd have known that was incorrect as I've never heard anybody religious refer to it as such). I don't care. It is an epic nothingburger. And, odds are, it is remembered as Second Corinthians as there is a song taught to remember the books of the Bible and Second Corinthians works better than Corinthians 2.

But you'd have to be a complete dick to pretend that you didn't know exactly what he meant in terms of the verse.

If he says I-zay-uh, then he has the right password for the Duck Dynasty swamp.

Have him try the Old Testament books. I can hardly say most of them.

Yeah, I've heard evangelicals are a rabid bunch. He needs to keep an ear out for anyone shouting, "Our God is an awesome God!" because that means some major violence is about to go down, and he'd better escape at once.

It should be considered shameful that, easily, the most tolerant campus of opposing views is Liberty. You didn't the students committing hari kari when Sanders spoke there a while back.

Christians have a tendency to be too nice in cases. Guilt over the defensive war that was the Crusades has been powerful.

Reminds me how, at my former RC parish church, the "authorities" removed the "Yaweh is a warrior" passage from our Easter recitations because ... it was too warlike.

I tend to be the dick in my Sunday School class because I'm the main one standing up for not liberalizing the church.

"Do you REALLY believe our views on gay marriage is why others don't attend? Do you TRULY think that changing our stance will bring them in? Because there's always a reason to not go to church. They're just using that one now"

And I'm a Methodist. Hardly one of the hair shirt wearing crowd.

But that is Ted Cruz consistent. No New York Values there. Tolerance of any differences among Christians is showing weakness to them.

Didn't Cuomo and de Blasio list specific things that aren't "New York values"...like being pro life and pro 2d Amendment? Why is Cruz AGREEING with them such a bad thing?

Jim S. said...

I thought it was shorthand for "Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians". You wouldn't say "Paul's Two Letter to the Corinthians". Anyway, all it indicates is that someone is from another culture which says it that way, or that the speaker is unfamiliar with the Bible and is reading the book name out loud for the first time. It's not a big deal, it's just amusing.

When I first became a Christian I pronounced the last book in the Old Testament as "muh-LAH-chee". Everyone laughed: it is, of course, "MA-luh-kye". Then I learned Hebrew and discovered that the Hebrew pronounciation is "muh-LAH-khee", where the "kh" is one of the Semitic throat-clearing sounds. So I was closer to the right pronunciation all along. Ha!

Ann Althouse said...

"Christians who go to Church say, 2nd Corinthians."

I know that's the theory, but how do you know? "Christians who go to Church" is kind of a large category. Do you really securely purport to know what Presbyterians in Queens say?

The Gold Digger said...

Freeman Hunt, you are making me laugh out loud.

Ann Althouse said...

"He was trying to make a cultural connection and missed."

Oh, he was doing the University's slogan.

Like coming to Wisconsin and saying "numen lumen."

Ann Althouse said...

We wouldn't say, hey, you said "numen" like Jerry Seinfeld saying "Newman."

J. Farmer said...

Remember that Family Leadership Council meeting when Trump made his infamous war hero remarks about John McCain to Frank Luntz. If memory serves me, didn't Trump also admit during that meeting that he had never asked god for forgiveness for anything he had done wrong? Hmm...isn't that kind of the entire point of Christianity?

damikesc said...

I know that's the theory, but how do you know? "Christians who go to Church" is kind of a large category. Do you really securely purport to know what Presbyterians in Queens say?

I've been to several churches in several states and never heard anything except "Second Corinthians". Can anybody find an example of the alternative?

Note: Please don't. It doesn't matter to anybody. Paul even said he's cool with it.

mccullough said...

Sou really even better in Ancient Greek

Ann Althouse said...

To my ear, anyone mocking Trump for saying "2 Corinthians" seems not actually to believe in Christianity. Do you think God hears you and judges how you act and how you treat others and how you put your values and principles in order? It doesn't sound as though you do. I'd say the laughing is much more of an indication that you are not Christians than saying "2 Corinthians" ever was.

eric said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
"Christians who go to Church say, 2nd Corinthians."

I know that's the theory, but how do you know? "Christians who go to Church" is kind of a large category. Do you really securely purport to know what Presbyterians in Queens say?


Yes. Just as I know when you take a break at school in America, we call it recess. Just as I know Americans say Red, White and Blue about the color of the flag.

Some things are culturally Christian.

Unless you're saying its not the case if you can find ten people in the country who don't say it that way.

But my argument is, since 99% of Church goers say it that way, its cultural signaling to the Tribe to laugh at him for it.

Sharc said...

I fear Trump has mizzled us all.

eric said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
To my ear, anyone mocking Trump for saying "2 Corinthians" seems not actually to believe in Christianity. Do you think God hears you and judges how you act and how you treat others and how you put your values and principles in order? It doesn't sound as though you do. I'd say the laughing is much more of an indication that you are not Christians than saying "2 Corinthians" ever was.


Then you've got no idea what it means to be a Christian.

Saying 2 Corinthians makes you no less a Christian than mocking someone for saying it does.

This isn't about who is and who isn't a Christian. It's about whether someone is culturally a Christian. Raised in the Church. Or just pretending to be in order to pander to those who were. IE: Earn the Evangelical vote.

rhhardin said...

Best god ever.

J. Farmer said...

@Eric:

"This isn't about who is and who isn't a Christian. It's about whether someone is culturally a Christian. Raised in the Church. Or just pretending to be in order to pander to those who were. IE: Earn the Evangelical vote."

I agree with this, but wasn't this painfully obvious even before Trump's little rhetorical slip up? Is there anybody out there who believes has any sincere interest in the Bible whatsoever?

I am not a Christian so it doesn't change my mind on trump one iota.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think the people not laughing are the ones taking it too seriously. It's not a big deal, but it is funny. I could tell this tiny Trump story to any evangelical friend I have, and I guarantee every one of them would immediately smile.

Groups are used to politicians trying to relate to them as one of their own. It's funny when it goes slightly off. How could it not be? Imagine something similar with any other group. Imagine talking to hip, young people about that great show called "Ladies." That would be funny.

Michael said...

I am not a very good Christian. I have one foot in Rome and one foot in Canterbury. I read the Bible for a few minutes every night and begin reading where the book opens. I would think that anyone making a decision on who to vote for in a presidential election based on the use of 2 versus 2nd would be a jackass.

Not that anyone would listen to what PaddyO, a fucking student of Theology, has to say. Of course.

jr565 said...

"To my ear, anyone mocking Trump for saying "2 Corinthians" seems not actually to believe in Christianity. Do you think God hears you and judges how you act and how you treat others and how you put your values and principles in order? It doesn't sound as though you do. I'd say the laughing is much more of an indication that you are not Christians than saying "2 Corinthians" ever was. "

That sounds like someone who is not particularly religious telling religious people they are wrong about their religion.

Freeman Hunt said...

No one is going to vote based on this. It's a tiny blip of amusement in the campaign.

jr565 said...

Its like Huck Finn always being corrected by his aunt for not speaking properly. Trump is not speaking properly.
Its not a big crime or sin, but it tells evangelicals, this person is not an evangelical.

Oclarki said...

Schorsch -

Really?? Paul's so misguided theologically that he responsible for half the New Testament?

What kind of nonsense are you peddling?

traditionalguy said...

The big deal today will be whether when Sweet Sarah picks Proud New Yorker Trump over Cruz, will the Cruz Cult say out loud their tacit threats to supporters to brand them a betrayer of Conservative Purity.

It's not like Palin is leaving Scientology...or is it?

Rick said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Christians who go to Church say, 2nd Corinthians."

I know that's the theory, but how do you know?


People who go to church tend to attend many different churches. I've been to probably 50 due to moves or attending while on vacation or visiting friends and family and I'm not particularly religious. I'm sure there are many people whose number is in the hundreds.

(a) You don't have to sample a large part of the population. Polls routinely sample 500 to 2,000 out of 220 million eligible voters.

(b) If there were some large population who does use the term as Trump did we'd hear about them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Then you've got no idea what it means to be a Christian. Saying 2 Corinthians makes you no less a Christian than mocking someone for saying it does. This isn't about who is and who isn't a Christian. It's about whether someone is culturally a Christian. Raised in the Church. Or just pretending to be in order to pander to those who were. IE: Earn the Evangelical vote."

Do you believe God knows you wrote that and you are responsible to God for thinking and saying such a thing?

Assume the Jesus you say you believe in read that and could speak to you: What would he say?

Ann Althouse said...

"That sounds like someone who is not particularly religious telling religious people they are wrong about their religion."

No. It is someone who knows what it means to take religion seriously challenging people who are pompously labeling themselves as religious. I believe that the Jesus of the Bible would be very critical of you. I've read the Gospels many times and taken them seriously. Have you? You don't seem as though you have. You're talking about Christianity as if it's a social club.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
"Christians who go to Church say, 2nd Corinthians."

I know that's the theory, but how do you know? "Christians who go to Church" is kind of a large category. Do you really securely purport to know what Presbyterians in Queens say?

New Yorkers apparently say shlonged to describe getting shellacked or having your butt handed to you. Democrats have an issue with that turn of phrase too. They call it SEXISM even though its just a turn of phrase.
Depending on who you are speaking to, then, Trumps vernacular will draw guffaws or outrage.
IN the case of the Christians, they might laugh at the turn of phrase but I don't think they denounced him for his evilness.

eric said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...
@Eric:

"This isn't about who is and who isn't a Christian. It's about whether someone is culturally a Christian. Raised in the Church. Or just pretending to be in order to pander to those who were. IE: Earn the Evangelical vote."

I agree with this, but wasn't this painfully obvious even before Trump's little rhetorical slip up? Is there anybody out there who believes has any sincere interest in the Bible whatsoever?


Probably not. But its coming up on voting time. Silly season. And politicians are panicking. They are throwing the kitchen sink at each other at this point.

Rick said...

I'd say the laughing is much more of an indication that you are not Christians than saying "2 Corinthians" ever was.

Althouse lecturing Christians on what Christianity requires is only slightly less offensive than the typical leftist. In her favor she doesn't seem to hate Christians as the left does, but on the other hand she ought to know better.

eric said...

Ann Althouse said...

Do you believe God knows you wrote that and you are responsible to God for thinking and saying such a thing?


Oh yes, God is very much aware of what we think and say.


Assume the Jesus you say you believe in read that and could speak to you: What would he say?

What do you think He would say?

And as I stated above, He is very much aware of it. Of this I have no doubt.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
No. It is someone who knows what it means to take religion seriously challenging people who are pompously labeling themselves as religious. I believe that the Jesus of the Bible would be very critical of you. I've read the Gospels many times and taken them seriously. Have you? You don't seem as though you have. You're talking about Christianity as if it's a social club.

You do things a certain way in church. If you don't do the things that way in church people who do look at you askance. This is simply one of those faus pas.

And the Jesus bible would be very critical of me? I thought that the seculars make the argument that Jesus says "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". If you are saying he's critical of me, you are in fact judging me.So Jesus would also be judgemental of YOU being judgemental of Me. Get it?

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, as it were.

As to what Jesus would say about how to pronounce 2nd Corinthians, he died before the bible was officialy written. So, I don't know what his opinion would be on it. But church goers might have opinions on it.


Rick said...

You're talking about Christianity as if it's a social club.

Althouse has this backwards. The core element of Christianity is believing Jesus was the son of god and accepting his purpose as the savior of humanity. Althouse thinks Christianity is about treating people nicely.

Rusty said...

Honestly. Who gives a rats ass.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Trump is to 2 Corinthians like Mitt was to severely conservative.

jr565 said...

faus pas = faux pas. You might laugh at my spelling errors. But that would be very judgemental of you. You might even act like the grammar police and teach me the error of my ways. However, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's not about actual Christianity. It's about slightly misfiring when relating to a what he's identified as a certain voting bloc. It doesn't make him more or less Christian, just less part of the voting bloc to which he's trying to relate.

(I think some people are making it about actual Christianity, but in at least some cases where people appear to do this, I think they're merely conflating the supposed evangelical voting bloc being called Christian with Christian generally.)

rhhardin said...

Rush played Obama quoting scripture about not throwing stones in glass houses.

I think of the Mary Ann Madded, "Thou art Peter and thou shalt pick pecks of pickled peppers."

Gahrie said...

No. It is someone who knows what it means to take religion seriously challenging people who are pompously labeling themselves as religious. I believe that the Jesus of the Bible would be very critical of you.

What do you think Jesus would say about gay marriage or abortion?

traditionalguy said...

How does one pander to Church members if the church in question is Southern Baptist, and those guys ALWAYS stand for the separation of Church and State. They refuse a State being the Church. Being a Christian is good, but a Cromwellian Grand Protector Govrnmet is not good.

Do you fast and pray so you can deliver the voters from under the spell of Trump's Scot Presbyterianism Demon.

Don't answer that. I know that is exactly what you guys are thinking.

eric said...

Blogger Rick said...
I'd say the laughing is much more of an indication that you are not Christians than saying "2 Corinthians" ever was.

Althouse lecturing Christians on what Christianity requires is only slightly less offensive than the typical leftist. In her favor she doesn't seem to hate Christians as the left does, but on the other hand she ought to know better.


I think it's because she is personally offended by this. She is similar to Trump in this way, or perceives herself to be. A Christian who doesn't want to have her Christianity judged by other Christians. In her world, Christians are supposed to shut up. It says on TV, thou shalt not judge. There are some other words in the Bible, for sure, but those are the most important ones.

So, when she sees Christians getting all judgy, she is personally offended by it. It's the worse sin possible for a Christian. And if you're only nominally a Christian, you think Christians don't sin. Therefore anyone who would say such a thing isn't a Christian on the scale of who is and who isn't a Christian.

Ironically, she has descended into that judgy territory. But, they started it, your honor.

eric said...

Blogger Freeman Hunt said...
It's not about actual Christianity. It's about slightly misfiring when relating to a what he's identified as a certain voting bloc. It doesn't make him more or less Christian, just less part of the voting bloc to which he's trying to relate.

(I think some people are making it about actual Christianity, but in at least some cases where people appear to do this, I think they're merely conflating the supposed evangelical voting bloc being called Christian with Christian generally.)


Amen.

Levi Starks said...

It would be more accurate to say that Christians who go to church, carry their own Bibles to Church, and are experienced in looking up Bible references use/say 2nd Corinthians.
And while it may not seem obvious, there is a reason. If the verse referenced is from the 2nd chapter of 2nd Corinthians, or Samuel, or Kings, or Chronicles, or Timothy, or Peter, or John, it just sounds weird to say 2 Corinthians 2:5 therefore we say 2nd Corinthians 2:5. I hopes this helps.

J. Farmer said...

I know that I, like most Americans, am just dying to know what Trump's opinion on ancient Hebrew mythology is!

Sigivald said...

I'm an atheist, and even I know it's "Second ...", for all the numbered epistles.

It might just be a weird brainfart, sure.

But I'd tend to interpret it as someone being not used to thinking about the New Testament at all, or thinking about it in a completely outsider way - because Christians as a group (and Christianity is definitionally a group activity; "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.") don't say it like that, anywhere I've ever seen or heard of.

Which is fine, except when you're ... posing as a serious Christian.

jr565 said...

A few months ago there was this brouhaha about Starbucks not putting out a Christmas mug. And supposedly Christians were outraged about it.Turns out ONE guy made an issue about it. If people are tittering about his mispronunciation of 2nd Corinthians, lets not put too much significance into it. Its some people lauging. Most people could care less. including Christians.
Yes, it might suggest that Trump is going into a place he's not used to and speaking awkwardly, but once they get past that, its on to the rest of the speech.
and no one cares beyond that.

jr565 said...

J Farmer wrote:
I know that I, like most Americans, am just dying to know what Trump's opinion on ancient Hebrew mythology is!

Lets talk about Egyptian pyramids and whether they are used to store grain or not. CLEARLY relevant to todays world.

jr565 said...

"Which is fine, except when you're ... posing as a serious Christian."

Exactly.

gabba gabba - one of us.
Do you say gabba gabba? No? then are you really one of us?
If you say gooba gooba and you meant to say gabbba gabba its cute, or funny. But you aren't speaking the code words. Not one of us. Or maybe one of us. But we need a bit more info. You want my vote? Well you have to learn to speak the vernacular.

He simply got his pronouns wrong. He called the transgender male to female a she rather than an xer.



traditionalguy said...

Trump could ask Candolisa Rice to run as VP. Then it will be Presbyterians all the way down.

And President Trump could play golf at least once with another believing Presbyterian golfer named Jordan Spieth.

grackle said...

Trump pandering? Here’s my take on the Liberty speech: Trump is signaling, or pandering if that’s your preference; he’s signaling that his presidency will be pro-Christianity. He’s drawing a contrast between him as POTUS and the Clinton/Obama/progressive anti-Christian war-on-Christmas crap that we’ve all witnessed in the last few years.

It’s important that his evangelicals get the message and he’s giving it. In this one instance he is not running against Cruz – he’s running against Hillary and the progressives.

Meanwhile the opposition is focused on a non-issue, which is how he cites the bible. The only thing important is whether he was accurate in his citation – which he was. It’s almost as if he did it on purpose.

Johanna Lapp said...

Trump is nominally a member of Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It's most famous as the onetime parish of Norman Vincent Peale ("The Power of Positive Thinking"). It's the antithesis of evangelical -- a lukewarm congregation of a lukewarm denomination that panders to the WASP elect, who have no sins to repent and buy God's indulgence with showy donations toliberal causes. No vulgar blood of the lamb for these classy Fake Calvinists.

But this is the judgment of an atheist, so don't take it as gospel.

Char Char Binks said...

You say sibboleth, I say shibboleth...

Unknown said...

Great passage in John 9. Shows humor, shows What Would Jesus Do, shows there are absolutes even in God's love, shows some people are just plain wrong in their view of religion and morals.


39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%209&version=NIV

J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

"He’s drawing a contrast between him as POTUS and the Clinton/Obama/progressive anti-Christian war-on-Christmas crap that we’ve all witnessed in the last few years. "

Oh, this is hilarious. Some sales clerk says "Happy Holidays" and people who think they have eternal paradise waiting for them after death get all bent out of shape.

Theranter said...

TreeJoe said...Or he could have just had a brain disconnect while reading. I mean honestly, people DO say things that didn't intend to in normal conversation, in prepared speeches, and when reading off a page. Your brain isn't focused on the word you are reading when you are speaking

I think this is likely what happened, and it explains why he briefly paused, his brain was probably thinking something didn't sound right as the word was coming out of his mouth.

Michael said...

Trump is not posing as an evangelical but showing sympathy with them. It is enough. Perfect is the enemy of the good.

C Stanley said...

Professor Althouse's judgement of these Christians is off base.

It would be correct to say that they shouldn't judge whether others are fit to go to heaven, but they are not doing that- they're judging a man's fitness to serve as their president- which is allowed.

It would also be correct to censure people for being hurtful or mean spirited in mocking others, but I see none of that either (and zero probability that Trump's ego will be wounded by pointing out a faux pas.)

n.n said...

Principles matter until semantic acrobatics become the focal point.

traditionalguy:

Rice may be a good choice for Vice President or perhaps Secretary of State. She seems to have successfully developed the American spirit and character, and has demonstrated an ability and willingness to represent and defend her principles and home.

Bob Boyd said...

Donald Trump gives you the one thing you always wanted in a luxury candidate. Everything!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_HMIN0nGl0

Jeff Gee said...

Rachel beat me to it at 11:59, but this is literally a shibboleth, and I'm finding it fascinating.

Here's a whole YouTube page of songs to teach kids the books of the Bible. Most of them go with "first and second" rather than "I and II," but the lady in this one sings "Two Corinthians". (The accompanying texts use "First and Second," though. A whole bunch of the others do it the other way around).

Most of the non-rap songs start out with a tune that (more or less) fits "Gen-e-sis, Ex-o-dus, Lev-it-i-cus," but things get pretty hairy way before we get to Ezra. By the time we arrive at "Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi" everybody's just kind of hanging on for dear life. The rap songs are definitely the way to go here.

Brando said...

This isn't really a flub like "corpseman" because we're talking about religion--different churches or practitioners may pronounce the reference differently. Plus, usage changes over time--I was always annoyed when people said "verbal" when they meant "oral" but these days both are accepted.

I don't think Trump really tries to pass himself off as more than casually religious, and frankly the casually religious can be more respectful of religious liberty than the vigorously religious. Clinton often made a show of regular church worship and prayers with Jesse Jackson, but Ronald Reagan who rarely went to services seemed more respectful of religious conservatives.

Triangle Man said...

Their mockery of Trump is a sign of how strongly they value conformity.

Sammy Finkelman said...

@57 states:

There were 57 delegations to the Democratic National Convention.

The 50 states, the 6 territories and Democrats Abroad.

John said...

Eric,

Apologies for being snarky. You came across as one whose main experience with religion is driving by a church on the way to work.

I was wrong and I am sorry.

I still think your determined dogmatism about 2 Corinthians vs 2nd Corinthians is misguided.

Perhaps we should change the subject to the Christian Sabbath. Last day of the week (Saturday) or first day (Sunday)?

This whole argument is pretty silly. You say tomayto? I say tomahto? Obviously one of us needs to be banished to the outer darkness. Or at least to Outer Qwghlm. Probably you since you are clearly saying it wrong.

This is the 100th comment on a thread abut Two vs Second. Ann, you have had some pretty silly comment sections over the 8 or so years I've been haning out here. This has to be the all time silliest.

At first I felt honored. Now I feel ashamed.

Humperdink said...

No one can judge a person's heart as to whether they are a believer in Jesus Christ. Trump may or not be a believer. Only he knows. But we do know he is not a biblical scholar. Time to move on. It's not a deal killer, just hilarious. My wife and I both cracked up when we heard him this. He looked pretty foolish to those who read the Word.

John said...

Speaking of brain farts, last night my wife and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. We always have the guacamole and nachos as an appetizer.

For the life of me I could not say the word "guacamole". It took me three tries and some thinking to get it out.

I was almost to the point of ordering "Nachos y ese salsa verde"

It and the burritos were great as always when I finally did get them ordered.

John Henry

eric said...

Blogger John said...
Eric,

Apologies for being snarky. You came across as one whose main experience with religion is driving by a church on the way to work.

I was wrong and I am sorry.

I still think your determined dogmatism about 2 Corinthians vs 2nd Corinthians is misguided


John, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. Dogmatic about Corinthians? It doesn't bother me at all.

Some years ago, I was in a bible study. And the leader of the Bible study said something like, "Let's all turn to Joseph chapter 3 verse 7." So, I started to rifle through my Bible looking for the book of Joseph. Finally, after a minute or two of not being able to find it, I looked up. The group was staring at me and smiling. Then they all laughed. It was funny. There is no book of Joseph. It's like the joke my boys tell, how many of each animal did Moses put on the ark?

I don't care if you say two or second. Doesn't matter to me in the slightest. I've been to several different nations teaching the gospel and never once was bothered by the cultural differences. A teenage Mexican boy didn't take his hat off during the prayer. In America, I probably would have said something to him. But what do I know how these things go in Mexico?

My only point was, its cultural signaling. It's not religious. Christians have their own culture. Trump isn't a part of that culture. This faux pas makes that evident. Some people might care. Therefore, other people are making a deal out of it.

I'm one of those people who don't care.

grackle said...

Oh, this is hilarious. Some sales clerk says "Happy Holidays" and people who think they have eternal paradise waiting for them after death get all bent out of shape.

The usual reaction from the progressives – disdain for the faithful and their faith – unless of course it’s the Muslims who really get upset about such things. But keep on insulting Christians, please. It dovetails nicely with Trump’s pro-Christian message.

J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

"The usual reaction from the progressives – disdain for the faithful and their faith – unless of course it’s the Muslims who really get upset about such things."

I do not have disdain for the faithful, but I do have disdain for faith. But please tell me, if you're so confident in your faith, why do you need it affirmed by random sales clerks?

traditionalguy said...

The Cruz Cult guys conflate Praying for good government with being the government.

One protected the Pax Romano, now the Pax American, which was to keep Free Speech and unrestricted communication and good travel roads open for the Missionaries to spread the Word.

So Good Government is needed to facilitate Preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom in all the world as a witness to all the nations so the end can come (I.e., King Jesus' Return on the last day) (Mat.24;14)

Trump promises a Good Government. The rest is up to the Christian Missionaries.

The Cruz Church wants to have a Christian Government Church Combo to govern us for our own good. But that is Un-American from the Pilgrims Mayflower Compact all the way down.

Ken B said...

Second is an adjective but two is a noun. It represents a value, and Trump is from New York, so here we have one of these famous New York values. No wonder people giggle.

M Jordan said...

The problem is, mis-stating an in-group's vernacular is a dead giveaway of an outsider. It's a shibboleth, as it were.

Trump reveals himself to be a non-evangelical. This may or may not hurt him (I think not because he doesn't pretend to be one) but it definitely gives him away.

M Jordan said...

Obama recently said, "As the Good Book says, 'People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.'"

Much, much worse than Trump's error because it seems downright amazing that a supposedly learned man would think that old adage is from the Bible.

Witness said...

https://onecanhappen.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/wwjd-if-anyone-ever-asks-you-what-would-jesus-do-remind-him-that-flipping-over-tables-and-chasing-people-with-a-whip-is-within-the-realm-of-possibilities/

Dude1394 said...

I expect Cruz and the Red State dude to be outraged.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@M Jordan:

"Much, much worse than Trump's error because it seems downright amazing that a supposedly learned man would think that old adage is from the Bible."

Obama admitted in his autobiography that he was not raised religious, but he consciously knew involvement in local black politics would necessitate being a member of some stupid shout and holler church. Trump's basically pulling an Obama: pretending he cares about the Bible as a sop to some segment of his base.

Mom2Es said...

Also keep in mind that Trump's speech was mandatory for residential students to attend, so it's hard to fault them for finding something to mock.

Trump says he is Presbyterian, but I think his parents were Episcopalian. I've lived in England and didn't hear One Corinthians, Two Corinthians there, ever.

Psalm 23 vs. The 23rd Psalm, sure; people swap those all the time without batting an eyelash and the Brit norm and American norm are opposites. But II Corinthians is shorthand for "Second Epistle to the Corinthians."

To my ears, it wasn't just that he said "two" instead of "second." The entire phrasing was awkward and not the way people who listen to sermons on a regular basis or talk about the Bible much in any context would rattle off a Bible verse. CNN's reporting added commas where one would not normally in order to emphasize how awkward and stilted the whole thing was. "Two Corinthians, right? [checks his notes] Two Corinthians [pause] threeseventeen..." and then he had to read the verse straight off his notes.

When I heard it, I thought "shibboleth!" (as others have already pointed out) Trump may feel great eating his little cracker and drinking his grape juice, but religion doesn't appear to be anything more than that to him. He hits his talking points about the Bible being the best book ever (just barely edging out his own for top slot, of course), but when it comes down to it, it's obvious that it's not a book he has spent much time with. He's not comfortable with it. He can't pull off that trick. I don't care that he doesn't have a favorite Bible verse (and I think that's always a stupid question anyway), but he could at least figure out how to look comfortable referencing it if he's going to try pandering to students at a religion-based university.

Mom2Es said...

Meant to add: I don't think they're outraged; I think they're just laughing at him.

The funny thing to me is how much play this has gotten in the MSM, considering that the MSM's Bible knowledge was on full display when they went bonkers over Ted Cruz talking about "the body of Christ" and they assumed he was talking about the physical body of Jesus.

traditionalguy said...

For the record, Episcopalians and Presbyterians do not go to a Sunday School or VBS or summer camp where classes for the young are taught to memorize the names of the Books of the Bible using a familiar group song. That is the same way reading in Kindergarten has pupils memorize "their ABCs" using a group song.

If they did, then saying "First and Second Corinthians" would roll of the tongue for them too. But those denominations do teach a class about TULIP, as a good Presbyterian boy knows. And the poor Episcopalians are stuck with a Lord's prayer learned by repetition saying "...and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us..."

Well any fool knows The Lord really said Debts and Debtors. Nobody trespasses anymore.

The point is that what Trump said does not mean that he does not read a Bible unless you insist on associating ignorance of scripture with Episcopalians and Presbyterians because they never learned a child's song.

J. Farmer said...

@traditionalguy:

What did you make of Trump's admission that he had never asked god for forgiveness for anything?

Ann Althouse said...

Reminds me of the different ways of saying case names. I'm most likely to say "Marbury 'vee' Madison," but some people might say "Marbury versus Madison," and old elite types will say "Marbury and Madison," which might sound wrong to a layperson, since the word "and" isn't there, but it's actually kind of high tone.

There is, obviously, some "one of us" signaling issue, which I think isn't Christian to bring up. But Trump doesn't claim to be an insider to the evangelists to the extent that they want to flaunt insularity. He's just an old Presbyterian. I grew up going to Presbyterian church, the church of my father's parents and my father. They were not showy in their manner of belief.

Brando said...

"Much, much worse than Trump's error because it seems downright amazing that a supposedly learned man would think that old adage is from the Bible."

In fairness, he didn't say which good book.

"@57 states:

There were 57 delegations to the Democratic National Convention.

The 50 states, the 6 territories and Democrats Abroad."

Yeah, I don't think anyone could seriously think Obama actually thought there were 57 states. There's a difference between misspeaking and actually displaying ignorance.

It's like when Bush said "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, won't be fooled again"--obviously he just stumbled on his words and didn't think that was the actual saying.

Ann Althouse said...

My sense of Christianity is that you should not be saying that somebody else is not Christian but wondering if you are truly Christian. The insularity and testing that is being talked about here feels really off to me.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

I am not a Christian, so I am apparently free to wildly speculate about Trump's Christianity. And for what it's worth, given the total body of evidence, I think it's likely that Trump is not particularly religious and is pandering to voters. Which is fine! This is America. How do you get elected without pandering to some solipstic voting bloc in this country? I never believed John Kerry was a sports enthusiast even when he was being photographed in that dumb duck hunting outfit.

Birches said...

Freeman is always right, like in this case.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

Brando wrote:
"There were 57 delegations to the Democratic National Convention."

But Obama said:
"... it is just wonderful to be back in Oregon, and over the last 15 months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in fifty .... seven states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit but my staff would not justify it."
http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/57states.asp

So the '57 delegations' excuse doesn't fly.

Quaestor said...

Ken B wrote: "Second is an adjective but two is a noun. It represents a value..."

Not necessarily. Trump spoke the word, he didn't write it. The question of ordinality or cardinality is sometimes not explicit. For example consider the nomenclature of kings; it is customary to write a number, typically in the Latin form after the name a monarch chooses for himself at coronation, such as George VI.* The number is cardinal in form, yet ordinal in sense. By the same token a spoken cardinal can have an ordinal sense.

* British royals typically have a string of given names and use no surname, mostly paying homage to this or that honored antecedent or kindred duke. Before his wastrel brother abdicated he was known as Albert, Duke of York, but he chose to reign as George because Victoria wanted "Albert" to be exclusively reserved for her beloved husband forever.

Freeman Hunt said...

You wouldn't laugh at a guy who was visiting your church and said that. But he wasn't visiting somebody's church. He was at Liberty to sell himself. He was there as salesman, not seeker.

Evangelicals always have people quoting the Bible at them to try to say, "See, I'm one of you folks," or "See, I know you folks." It's funny. It's even funnier if the person says, "two Corinthians." Also, I don't think most evangelicals are under the impression that only evangelicals are Christians, so it's not a question of whether or not Trump is in with Jesus.

Paddy O said...

"you should not be saying that somebody else is not Christian but wondering if you are truly Christian."

I agree for the most part.

“It is right, therefore,that we not just be called Christians, but that we actually be Christians…” Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians (early 2nd century)

Of course, the early church was very particular about who it let go around saying what was Christian. So, if someone is publically stating they are a Christian, it's within bounds to assess their testimony in word and deed. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians: "For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge?"

But in terms of Christian importance, this is about as small an issue as it can get.

jimbino said...

Trump would agree:

I Corinthians 10:24 King James Version:

Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

and

1 Corinthians 10:25 King James Version:

Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

Jim S. said...

I'm sorry, is there any Christian who is taking this as a serious issue? As far as I can tell, some Christians are amused by it, not because they are laughing at someone for not knowing standard ways of referring to the Bible, but because a politician tried pandering to their group and failed. A politician pretended that he is an insider of their group, then accidentally revealed that he did not know the group's language and idiosyncrasies. It's not unchristian to be amused by this. We get to laugh at funny things.

Triangle Man said...

"The insularity and testing that is being talked about here feels really off to me."

They are anathema to the teachings of Christ but endemic to humanity.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
My sense of Christianity is that you should not be saying that somebody else is not Christian but wondering if you are truly Christian. The insularity and testing that is being talked about here feels really off to me.

Christianity is not that non judgemental. Non religious people always get the non judgement part right but then leave off the part where you judge the sin
For example "let he who is without sin cast the 1st stone." But then Jesus says "now go and sin no more". That is still saying the woman who sinned did so and to stop doing it.
Or Judge not lest ye be judged:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Non Christians would say "you can't judge other people because then you'll be judged. What its really saying is you cant judge other people if you are a hypocrite. But if you remove the beam from your own eye and can therefore see straight to judge, then its ok to judge the behavior as wrong or right.
Christians are supposed to tell people with specks in their eye that they have specks in their eye. Since the speck in their eye is reason enough to not find your way to god. But if you are not righteous yourself, then you are a hypocrite telling others that they must be righteous.

Now in this case, not sure that it applies anyway since the laugh was not directed at his sin. Merely at his ignorance of church practices. But one could make the argument that when they laughed they didn't have a mote in their eye (since they refer to the books of the bible correctly) and coud therefore comment on the speck in his eyes by laughing at him.

Ultimately its a non issue, I bet, even for those laughing at him. They probably just think he's an idiot. The guy who would wear a t shirt to a restaurant demanding suit and tie. Look at this idiot! They probably just don't accept him as overly religious. And in truth, I didn't think he was either.

jr565 said...

(cont) SOme candidates are very comfortable with evangelicals. Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee. Donald Trump never struck me as an overly religious person. Are you kidding? With the amount of judging he does of other people? You're fired! You're an idiot! That's not American!
Hes a walking talking judgement machine. What does Christianity say about he who is without sin casting 1st stone. He's already thrown stone after stone. He might not therefore get the presumption that he is without sin.

Static Ping said...

Never really thought about it before. Don't think it really matters. It's very much "which end of the egg to crack" sort of thing, which is interesting in a trivia sense but nothing else. I do like trivia so I am curious what the standard is in other languages.

Just to change the topic in a way that no one will care about, what I find interesting is the city of Corinth itself. At one time Corinth was an absurdly wealthy city thanks to the sea trade. It was strategically placed to take advantage of the isthmus at the Peloponnese, having harbors on both sides. It acted as a sort of canal with product received in one harbor, carried overland to the other port, and then shipped out there, avoiding having to go all the way around. (They tried to build an actual canal but that was a bit beyond ancient technology.) Horace described the city as "non licet omnibus adire Corinthum" ("Not everyone is able to go to Corinth"). You couldn't go there because you couldn't afford to go there. Among other things you could not afford were its large population of prostitutes at Aphrodite's temple. It's wealth made it a major player in Greek politics, but it was never the leading power.

Of course, that's not the same Corinth that Paul interacted with. The original city was destroyed with its population slaughtered and/or enslaved in 146 B.C. as part of a failed revolt against the Romans. The Corinth that Paul was familiar was the new city built on the site by Julius Caesar around 44 B.C. That city tended to have a bad habit of being destroyed in earthquakes. After the 1858 one they gave up and built a new Corinth a couple of miles down the road. The new one was destroyed by an earthquake in 1928, rebuilt, destroyed by a fire in 1933, rebuilt, and as of right now is still standing, the home of about 30 thousand souls.

jr565 said...

J Farmer wrote:
Remember that Family Leadership Council meeting when Trump made his infamous war hero remarks about John McCain to Frank Luntz. If memory serves me, didn't Trump also admit during that meeting that he had never asked god for forgiveness for anything he had done wrong? Hmm...isn't that kind of the entire point of Christianity?

was that the time he said Mccain wasn't a war hero and refused to apologize after essentially calling him a loser.
THAT SOUNDS TOTALLY CHRISIAN TO ME!

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Judge not lest... oh to hell with it. Its a lesson lost on Trump. He lacks the most basic civility. ANd he refuses to apologize. If there is anything Christian about him its htat he is the embodiment of many of the seven deadly sins.

Quaestor said...

eric wrote: Then you've got no idea what it means to be a Christian.

Just this morning I was reelecting on the fate of Giordano Bruno. That someone like Roberto Bellarmino could condemn someone to be burned alive or imprisoned for life because of a question of science illustrates the unfortunate nature of Christians to seek out heresy in others rather more zealously than they seek out their god.

mccullough said...

There are a lot of different versions of Christianity, just like Islam. Two people aren't going to fully agree on anything, much less two billion.

Ted Cruz was baptized a Catholic and changed to Southern Baptism after his dad left the Roman Catholic Church when the family moved from Canada to Texas. So Cruz was born a Cannuck Catholic. Trump has always been a Presbyterian and an American. So Trump is consistent and devoted to his religion, while Cruz is on his second version of Christianity.

Rubio was baptized a Roman Catholic but went to the Mormon Church when he lived in Nevada a few years with his family. When they moved back to Florida, they attended Mass again and Rubio has remained a Roman Catholic. Roman Catholics are the largest denomination of Christianity in the US.

Paul Zrimsek said...

One little, Two little, Three little Corinthians,
Four little, Five little, Six little Corinthians,
Seven little, Eight little, Nine little Corinthians,
Ten little Corinthian boys.

eric said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
My sense of Christianity is that you should not be saying that somebody else is not Christian but wondering if you are truly Christian. The insularity and testing that is being talked about here feels really off to me.


Saying 2 instead of second doesn't make one any less a Christian.

The fact that you keep going back to this tells me you're missing the point. Re-read the stuff Freeman Hunt has written here. Maybe then it'll be clear and you'll feel a little less off.

Paul Snively said...

I've heard the locution "Two whatever" well before Trump, in one Indiana Missouri Synod Lutheran church or another. I always associated with a layperson doing the Old Testament or Epistle reading, looking at the page, and by God, if the page didn't say "2nd Corinthians"—and guess what? The overwhelming majority don't—neither did they.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Lets talk about Egyptian pyramids and whether they are used to store grain or not."

As astute, will-be-heard points, this point is with purpose that in singularity can be understood undiffering.

The most important thing to think about that time is what motivated those people at that time; not us now (motivation mind you). Whether it be someone with money that wanted grain storage, or somethings elsewise and other most maximus, to try and contemplate their understandings from their time is paramount to being able to excuse oneself for unspeakable horror, to the tune of millions of snuffed-out living beings, human only and none other is possible, for profit in terms of organ-harvesting devils.

madAsHell said...

"Our God is an awesome God!"

Especially if it is pronounced "Allah Akbar".

Fritz said...

I've certainly heard it both ways. Could someone have been wrong? Sure.

Guildofcannonballs said...

The light content of areas of the mind where certain thoughts arise and get confirmed, or not, are fun to contemplate like 19th century Twain, and his time.

And why he used the word "nigger" in his books.

But if that contemplation can be used against someone who hates that word, and hates Jessie Jackson for talking about cutting nigga's balls off, then we must all never mention nigger again, after that one use I just did there.

Am I right? Cause maybe it would be fun to be wrong. Left to devices conceived my own, I appreciate those causes, Marx wise, that I wouldn't belong to because they'ed have me.

CStanley said...

My sense of Christianity is that you should not be saying that somebody else is not Christian but wondering if you are truly Christian. The insularity and testing that is being talked about here feels really off to me.

1/19/16, 3:23 PM

Did anyone say that Trump "is not Christian"? If so, maybe you have a point, but what seems much more likely is that these Christian conservatives are amused because he gave away that he's not from their culture. Some of them may feel that is disqualifying, while others might feel that it's fine as long as he really respects their faith....but neither of those things have anything to do with judging the state of Trump's soul.

What feels off to me is the degree to which you obsess over potential hypocrisies of Christians (as though the imperfection of people's practice of the faith is an excuse to avoid a deeper contemplation of whether the beliefs are true or not.) I've noticed that lots of agnostics and atheists use this as a bludgeon against Christianity, and while I don't attribute malice to your views I think there's a similar undercurrent of dismissiveness.

Quaestor said...

r565 wrote: If memory serves me, didn't Trump also admit during that meeting that he had never asked god for forgiveness for anything he had done wrong? Hmm...isn't that kind of the entire point of Christianity?

On the contrary, if true this may illustrate Trump's orthodoxy as a Presbyterian more strongly than anything else he's said or done. From the point of view of Calvin asking for forgiveness is pointless, you're either one of the elect and therefore forgiven by default, or not, and consequently damned in any case.

Nichevo said...

Yeah, Brando, but the Bushes are known dyslexics. Obama was some silver tongued genius lightworker dude who knows more than all his people.

You and Sammy F. You at least don't come across like a paid shill. I can't even imagine the free association word salad that would lead me to go over 50 on the states count, unless knowingly, jokingly patronizing someplace like Puerto Rico or Israel as being the 51st.

But hey, growing up in Abroadistan will do that to you. Wonder what his version of hot dogs, apple pie and mother sounds like. He probably remembers the "dog" part.

If he was that tired he shoulda shut up and gone to bed.

harrogate said...

It seems like the big stumbling block for Althouse is accepting that Trump was pandering to an audience, that he was trying to signal cultural belonging and flubbed it. Even people who would vote for Trump (and those for whom this incident is certainly no deal-breaker), on this thread are saying their amusement from the incident derives from his pander-and-miss in this instance.

Why she doesn't want to accept that he was pandering to the audience is a bit myterious. They all do it and we all know it. Upthread the reference to Kerry's "sportsman" shtick was on point. And, does anyone think Cruz hangs out on the Bayou, duck-hunting in full "costume"? The examples are as long as the list of candidates.

traditionalguy said...

@ J farmer...I think you asked me for my opinion on Trump saying that he only asks for forgiveness when he does something wrong that he cannot correct.

I suspect he was pulling the Evangelical's leg there. Asking for a restoration to righteousness and a cleansing from all unrighteousness using authority of believers in One John 1:1-5 is so easy it's really not much work.

Trump just adds a decision do it right the first time. Of course his entire Faith is already built on John Calvin's interpretation of Paul's gospel of Righteousness by faith in Jesus' once for all Sacrifice in our place offering God's Death Blood and not a bull or goat death or an infidel's death or a scapegoat's shunning that legalists who refusing to to understand Paul and Calvin are stuck with and making themselves pious Pharisees.

But the Religion Business does not like being told Jesus did not become incarnate from the Spirit of Hiliness, live a perfect life die by Cricifiction to make men better Pharisees.

The Protestant Work Ethic (that made New England/New York and west from there) is the result you get from Trump's Calvinist faith. The Army of various cults and Priests peddling sacraments continually for a price is seen by Trump as a terrible waste of a Christian man's time.

Trump understands the scripture that tells him is already Chosen by God to accept Jesus and then to be himself and live a life avoiding Sin and enjoying hard work and the rewards from his work. He is Right with God,(See, Romans 8:1 and 8:28)

Nichevo said...

Also

Ann Althouse said...
My sense of Christianity is that you should not be saying that somebody else is not Christian but wondering if you are truly Christian. The insularity and testing that is being talked about here feels really off to me.
1/19/16, 3:23 PM

And if he had said Allahu Akbar? Could they wonder about him then? Do you take the judge-not rap to mean that all good Christians are, or should be, undiscerning rubes who like to be fed horseshit marketed as beef stew? Contempt in such a case is perfectly apt, but examine your premises, there.


Also, an audience can enjoy when you get it right, and also enjoy it when you get it wrong. Too subtle to explain, but I suspect that more people came away from that with an inward smile, and more likely to feel better than worse about him (he's human).

I am not a Christian. As Christians are humans, I see it through the lens of human nature.

Guildofcannonballs said...

DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT

by the Blues Brothers via the great James Fcking Gdame3d Brown.


DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT

How "light" Christianity to Althouse is The BLues Blrothers.

You answer that you answer ALLLLL:hizouznese

Guildofcannonballs said...

I aplogize.

I am sory.

I am wrong like time ten and whatnot.
\

Ouxh,' U N QIBF,

sORRNG]

Terry said...

I can't believe that no one has mentioned that Trump's father's middle name was 'Christ.'

grackle said...

I do not have disdain for the faithful, but I do have disdain for faith. But please tell me, if you're so confident in your faith, why do you need it affirmed by random sales clerks?

I don’t. I may be the most faithless commentor on this blog. Assumptions – they’re almost unavoidable but they can be very misleading – I know that from personal experience.

I don’t need religion – I have philosophy to inspire me and guide me through life.

But here’s a challenge for the commentor: You’ve been commenting on this blog for awhile and probably on other blogs as well. You say, or at least imply, that you are equally disdainful of all faiths. Give me and the readers a link or URL to where you’ve ever shown disdain for the Muslim faith. Shouldn’t be hard. We’ll be waiting.

Paco Wové said...

Kudos for 'nontroversy', Althouse.

jimbino said...

The bad grammatical construction "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" has been used at least three times by commenters in this thread.

It's time to nip such sinfulness in the bud. In proper English, one says "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Much like "Let them eat cake."

Fritz said...

jimbino said...
The bad grammatical construction "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" has been used at least three times by commenters in this thread.

It's time to nip such sinfulness in the bud. In proper English, one says "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Much like "Let them eat cake."


That's sexist.

J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

"But here’s a challenge for the commentor: You’ve been commenting on this blog for awhile and probably on other blogs as well. You say, or at least imply, that you are equally disdainful of all faiths. Give me and the readers a link or URL to where you’ve ever shown disdain for the Muslim faith. Shouldn’t be hard. We’ll be waiting."

I never said I was "equally disdainful of all faiths." I said that I was not disdainful for the faithful, but I do have a disdain for "faith." I probably cannot find a blog comment of mine expressing disdain for homeopathy but should that imply that I support or believe in it? Please. I have repeatedly described Islamic countries on this blog as backwards and tribal and dumb, useless places for nation building. Read what I've written about race, crime, and immigration on this blog. If you want to go jab at some progressive strawman, fine with me. Just leave me out of it.

But if you want my "official" position, yes, the Quran is just as dumb as the Bible in that I believe they are both solely the work of the human brain. They are not the same words, however, so they produce different outcomes. Mohammad was interested in building a state and thus the Quran makes much pronouncement on the object of statecraft. Jesus was an apocalyptic radical who believed in the imminent coming of god. So you get a different set of words (kingdom not of this world, render unto Caesar, etc.). I'm a gay paleocon. What part of the Muslim world do you imagine I find particularly enamoring?

J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

Mostly just out of my own curiosity, I googled althouse+j.farmer+islam. This was among the first link:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2015/05/you-can-be-full-of-kindness-and-love.html

Where I say, among other things, "I am an atheist and consider Islam a meaningless religion."

Rhythm and Balls said...

Two psychics pass one another in the street. And one says to the other, "You're doing all right. How am I?"

I heard that from David Bowie yesterday. (Belatedly). No joke.

BTW, I never really cared much for that song, but love how Annie Lennox covers Mercury's part.

It's really a lovely rendition. Maybe works better as a female-male duet. Or I think it might just have been Lennox's charming and adorable mannerisms that made it work for me.

Phil 3:14 said...

"When it comes to the bible knowledge, Trump is blowing smoke and the Evangelicals (like myself) know it. "

PS. Grew up Catholic, have attended Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, Charismatic , non-denominational, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ etc...have never heard the phrase "2 Corinthians"

PPS His statement about never having asked for forgiveness makes him, by definition, a non-Christian.

Humperdink said...

My favorite Trump line is "Hey, I'm a Presbyterian".

OK, but do you believe that Jesus died for your sins? (Would be a nice question for an enterprising reporter to ask?)

J. Farmer said...

So long as we're keeping this bipartisan, I am reminded of another time a candidate flubbed in delivering a dog whistle to an important constituency. Hmm.

Guildofcannonballs said...


Just how anti-Christian is the Devil's friend? Deadwise-grateful.




Guildofcannonballs said...

Part of being the devil includes being able to seduce Christian friends.

QED.

Terry said...

Jimbino wrote:
"It's time to nip such sinfulness in the bud. In proper English, one says "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Much like'"Let them eat cake.'"
'Him' is the object pronoun. 'He' is the subject pronoun.
The person who is without sin is the subject, 'cast' is the verb, and 'stone is the object.'
Therefore it should be 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

grackle said...

Mostly just out of my own curiosity, I googled althouse+j.farmer+islam. This was among the first link: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2015/05/you-can-be-full-of-kindness-and-love.html
Where I say, among other things, "I am an atheist and consider Islam a meaningless religion."


I stand corrected, challenge met. Thank you for that. BTW, I looked at the “other things” mentioned by the commentor. He does not believe Bush Jr. was justified in going after the Taliban and Osama after the Twin Towers came down.

Why? Apparently it’s because for the commentor the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers by terrorism in one fell stroke was no big thing. Not a problem. Bin Laden would still be sitting pretty in Afghanistan fomenting more terrorism if it were up to the commentor.

The only point I have consistently made is that I believe the level of the threat has been overhyped and that regime change and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq were unnecessary for our security.

Reiterated later:

Yes, terrorism exists in the world. What I have said repeatedly and consistently is that I do not believe the threat is as significant as is widely believed.

http://tinyurl.com/zaeowmt

J. Farmer said...

@grackle:

"Yes, terrorism exists in the world. What I have said repeatedly and consistently is that I do not believe the threat is as significant as is widely believed.

Well of course I believe that, continue to believe it, and say it over and over on this blog. I firmly believe the Islamist threat to US security is overhyped.

But then you go and write something strange like this: "He does not believe Bush Jr. was justified in going after the Taliban and Osama after the Twin Towers came down."

That's not at all what I say. I specifically said that I "supported military operations against bin laden's network in the wake of 9/11." What I said, and continue to believe, is that regime change and nation-building in Afghanistan was unnecessary to this task.

Terry said...

Grackle wrote:
"BTW, I looked at the “other things” mentioned by the commentor. He does not believe Bush Jr. was justified in going after the Taliban and Osama after the Twin Towers came down."
It is a very odd Farmer comment. " . . . it is my belief that there is an excessive amount of worship of the military that goes on in our society. "
One wonders what the proper amount of worship for the military would be? I wonder what a venn diagram of 'people who are Christians' and 'people who worship the military. would look like.
What Farmer does not seem to be able to get is that there is no limit to the anguish the terrorists wish to inflict on the United States. The reason only 3000 were killed when the towers went down was due to logistics. The people who took the planes needed to have them as uncrowded as possible and as full of fuel as possible. That meant that they had to hit the towers in the morning, before they were fully occupied.
This is elementary.
The reason why jihadists are more dangerous than homegrown R wing terrorists is because home grown R wing terrorists are isolated. There is no command structure. They cannot apply lessons learned from one attack to the next attack.
Jihadists can and do apply lessons learned from one attack to the next attack.

The reason why human enemies are worse than any natural disaster was explained very well by Burton in Anatomy of Melancholy:

Dearths, tempests, plagues, our astrologers foretell us; Earthquakes, inundations, ruins of houses, consuming fires, come by little and little, or make some noise beforehand; but the knaveries, impostures, injuries and villainies of men no art can avoid. We can keep our professed enemies from our cities, by gates, walls and towers, defend ourselves from thieves and robbers by watchfulness and weapons; but this malice of men, and their pernicious endeavours, no caution can divert, no vigilancy foresee, we have so many secret plots and devices to mischief one another.


grackle said...

I specifically said that I "supported military operations against bin laden's network in the wake of 9/11."

Without going after bin Laden in Afghanistan?

So .. the commentor states that he supports “military operations” against bin Laden but heaven forbid that a POTUS actually mount any military operations in Afghanistan. Here I think I will call upon the commentor to explain this apparent contradiction.

Humperdink said...

"I can't believe that no one has mentioned that Trump's father's middle name was 'Christ.'"

Christ was maiden name of The Donald's grandmother. It became the middle name of The Donald's father.

Not unusual to name your child after your mother's maiden name. I did it with my daughter.

Jim S. said...

Blogger Quaestor said...
Just this morning I was reelecting on the fate of Giordano Bruno. That someone like Roberto Bellarmino could condemn someone to be burned alive or imprisoned for life because of a question of science illustrates the unfortunate nature of Christians to seek out heresy in others rather more zealously than they seek out their god.


You've been misinformed, although your point still partially stands. Bruno wasn't burned at the stake for his scientific views but for his theological views. He was a complete jerkwad and spent his life on the run from all the people he spit on, then moved back to the one place the Inquisition could get a hold of him. They imprisoned him for several years, but he wouldn't back down, so they killed him. Obviously they shouldn't have done that and obviously he didn't deserve to be killed for his theology. I'm just saying science had nothing to do with it.

J. Farmer said...

@grackle:

"Here I think I will call upon the commentor to explain this apparent contradiction."

There is no contradiction. You are just very terribly confused. Let me make my point with an obvious example. In May 2011, the United States carried out a CIA and special forces operation against bin Laden in Pakistan. This did not require toppling the government in Islamabad.

By the Taliban government refusing to hand over bin laden, I believe we would have been well within our rights to ignore Afghanistan's sovereignty and go after him ourselves. The Taliban had no significant ability to deter us. But once we opted for regime change, we then assumed responsibility for creating a viable state in Afghanistan. This was a fool's errand because (1) there wasn't even a viable state before we got there; it was split between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, and (2) it distracted resources from going after the actual Al Qaeda that had been involved in operations against us. All of a sudden, the enemy became the Taliban. But these were not global Islamists out to destroy the US. They were local thugs looking to take power over a piece of territory following the vacuum of power left from regime change. That has remained a failed project. Afghanistan is mostly controlled by regional warlords, many of them outright Taliban or Taliban-sympathizers. Regime change in Iraq upended forty years of ethnically based authoritarian rule and unleashed a civil war that wages to this day. Backing regime opponents in Syria has left that a tattered, war torn country. Libya is a failed state ruled by local warlordism. How much more of this stupid, horrific, counterproductive behavior do you really think is in our interest?

traditionalguy said...

Anyone interested in learning what a Prebyterian believes can download The Institutes of the Christian Religion for free or a couple of dollars on Kindle. Better yet go to itunesU and for free download Covenant Theological Semanary's 24 Audio lectures by Dr David Calhoun on Calvin's Institutes.

If you then think David Calhoun is not a Christian, I feel sorry for you.

Drago said...

J. Farmer: "But once we opted for regime change, we then assumed responsibility for creating a viable state in Afghanistan."

It's not written in stone that simply by decimating the leadership of a nation that supported/protected elements which directly attacked the US we (the US) then ipso facto we have assumed responsibility for creating a viable state.

In fact, you could remove the leadership of a nation (for just cause) and then simply walk away while sending the clear message that we will treat any subsequent governments that do us harm in the same manner.

Terry said...

J. Farmer, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan willingly hosted terrorists who committed the worst terror attack in US history. It hardly seems that leaving the Taliban in control of Afghanistan would have been wise.
The Taliban knew that their refusal to hand over Osama & friends would doom them. Yet they refused. The Taliban didn't want to continue in power if it meant that they could no longer host al Qaida.
To most people, that was a teachable moment. Not to you, I'm afraid.

Chuck said...

I am not a Presbyterian, but I attended for a time the great Presbyterian cathedral of Chicago (Fourth Presbyterian Church, led some years ago by the incomparable Dr. John Buchanan who also edited The Christian Century in his spare time).

And I have little doubt but that I know more about Trump's Presbyterian church than he does.

And that I as a non-Presbyterian have been to more Presbyterian services than Mr. Trump.

"Two Corinthians." Lulz.

Terry said...

The pro 'nation building' argument following 9/11 (as I remember it, I am willing to be shown that I am wrong), was that failed states produce terrorist havens. Since the ability of the terrorists to kill Americans was limited by their resources, and not their respect for international law or moral norms, once they obtained the resources of a nation state (as they had in Afghanistan and were likely to gain, one day, in Iraq), their ability to harm Americans would increase dramatically. After a second, or third, 9/11 it might be politically impossible for US rulers to respond in a measured way.
People don't want to be nuked. We don't want to nuke them.

Chuck said...

I have to mention one other thing, having reviewed most of the comments in this thread.

I see many (too many to count) commenters asking why Trump gets hammered for this little faux pas when Obama and Hillary get off so easy...

Who's fighting about that one? Of course the liberal Democrats get treated with a different standard. We all know that. Obama and neither Clinton is on the Republican primary ballot. The question has nothing to do with them; the real question is whether Donald Trump is a phony and a public doofus. I think I've got enough information to go on, on that last point.

traditionalguy said...

@ Chuck, the Presbyterian expert. Would you at least admit that The Providence of God has made Trump ready for Presidency?

cubanbob said...


By the Taliban government refusing to hand over bin laden, I believe we would have been well within our rights to ignore Afghanistan's sovereignty and go after him ourselves. The Taliban had no significant ability to deter us. But once we opted for regime change, we then assumed responsibility for creating a viable state in Afghanistan."

One does not have to follow the other. You want to argue for "butcher and bolt"? Fine. A case can be made for that. Colin Powell and his doctrine are a bad argument.

Drago said...

Chuck: "And I have little doubt but that I know more about Trump's Presbyterian church than he does.

And that I as a non-Presbyterian have been to more Presbyterian services than Mr. Trump."

I guess that is what is most important.

Congrats?

Chuck said...

traditional guy:

I might admit anything you want, if we could ambush Trump with the question, "Who is the current Moderator?" and Trump actually got the answer right.

I am betting... not.

J. Farmer said...

@Terry:

"Since the ability of the terrorists to kill Americans was limited by their resources, and not their respect for international law or moral norms, once they obtained the resources of a nation state (as they had in Afghanistan and were likely to gain, one day, in Iraq), their ability to harm Americans would increase dramatically."

The hijackers on 9/11 all arrived legally in the country on commercial flights and carried out most of the preparation for the attack on US soil. You don't need anything like the power of a nation-state to carry off something like. Parts of it were planned and arranged for in Germany and Malaysia. Having a so called "base of operations" is meaningless in this context. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was a very small group living in a mountainous rural area. They had no control over Afghanistan. They moved there after having been previously hosted in Sudan.

Again, the US could have easily ignored the Taliban government in Kabul and carried out special operations against Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. By going for regime change and trying to secure the country, we became targets for an insurgency that continues to this day. Large parts of Afghanistan remain under Taliban or Taliban-sympathizing control. And in some places, like Helmand province, the Taliban are powerful than they were pre-9/11. When you take sectarian societies and smash up the power certain, you get anarchy, violence, and warlordism. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria. All supposed bad guys who have helpfully all been replaced by situations much more violent, chaotic, and unstable.

mccullough said...

Nation building in Afghanistan has been a bipartisan delusion. Lots of money and US soldiers killed and Afghanistan is still the same shithole. It would have been enough to take out al-Qaeda camps and continue to hit them wherever they are, along with any necessary strategic strikes against the Taliban.

David Donnell said...

Terry said:
'Him' is the object pronoun. 'He' is the subject pronoun.
The person who is without sin is the subject, 'cast' is the verb, and 'stone is the object.'
Therefore it should be 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."


Uh, no. The person without sin is the object of the verb "let":
Let the person who is without sin cast . . .
Let Fred cast . . .
Let him cast . . .

"Let he cast . . ." is not English.

Quaestor said...

"Let he cast . . ." is not English.

Simple test: (1) Subjective case - Let I do it.
(2) Objective case - Let me do it.

Which sounds better to the ear? Unless you're a denizen of Htrae you'll choose option 2. Actually, the subject of Let him who is without sin cast the first stone is the understood you, which is characteristic of the English 2nd person imperative.

At some time is the last 20 years Reed-Kellogg sentence diagraming was banished from the classroom (at about the same time as "ebonics" was seriously discussed as a language) which hasn't helped American English to prosper. Those who did learn the R-K method quickly recognize the 2nd person imperative, and are therefore unlikely to be fooled by the structure of this paraphrase of John 8:7. This is a hard one, nevertheless. It has two relative clauses, and is sufficiently complex as to cause the online diagrammer at aiway.com to seriously flub it, confusing nouns and verbs in two locations.

grackle said...

There is no contradiction. You are just very terribly confused. Let me make my point with an obvious example. In May 2011, the United States carried out a CIA and special forces operation against bin Laden in Pakistan. This did not require toppling the government in Islamabad.

The Navy Seal raid in Pakistan to kill bin Laden rather than send in an army was a judicious choice of tactics evidently chosen in order to cause the least embarrassment to an ally. Waging full scale war would have necessarily meant regime change and who knows what entity might take charge afterward? Look at what we got in Egypt after Mubarak: Morsi, an Islamist supported by the Muslim Brotherhood.

By the Taliban government refusing to hand over bin laden, I believe we would have been well within our rights to ignore Afghanistan's sovereignty and go after him ourselves.

Would have been within our rights?! Here the commentor laughably implies that the Taliban agreed to hand over bin Laden! Holy smokes! But we all know they DID refuse and the Taliban, who were the ruling despots of record, had to be crushed. Maybe they thought Carter was still POTUS.

The Taliban had no significant ability to deter us.

“Deter us” from what? From strolling in with a Seal Team or two and finding bin Laden? In thousands of square miles of mountains? With a Taliban army on their ass? Remember, readers, that bin Laden evaded capture in Afghanistan. The Seal Team didn’t kill him until years afterward.

But once we opted for regime change, we then assumed responsibility for creating a viable state in Afghanistan.

Regime change in Afghanistan was never an option. The Taliban itself willfully afforded refuge and safety to the monster that killed 3,000 New Yorkers and then scornfully refused to discontinue that safe harbor. They were warned but they chose … poorly.

This was a fool's errand because (1) there wasn't even a viable state before we got there; it was split between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance …

The Taliban had already defeated the Northern Alliance years before and just for good measure assassinated the Northern Alliance leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was holed up in a mountain hideaway just two days before 9/11. What a coincidence, huh? In fact the Taliban had been ruling Afghanistan with little resistance from the Northern Alliance from 1996 through December, 2001.

Here’s some of the historical record:

In September 1996, as the Taliban … prepared for another major offensive, Massoud ordered a full retreat from Kabul. The Taliban seized Kabul in the same month and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed a strict form of Sharia, similar to that found in Saudi Arabia.

From 1996 to 2001, the al-Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri was … operating inside Afghanistan.


http://tinyurl.com/zzmzrb3

… it distracted resources from going after the actual Al Qaeda that had been involved in operations against us.

I’m not sure what the commentor is referring to here, with the “actual Al Qaeda” phrase. But we do know that bin Laden, the acknowledged head of Al Qaeda, was sheltered by the Taliban government of Afghanistan, who refused to stop that refuge even after being asked politely.

All of a sudden, the enemy became the Taliban.

Yes, because the Taliban government refused to hand over the terrorist who had just murdered 3,000 American men, women and children with a single act of terror. And it wasn’t simply a passive refusal, they opposed us and fought us. But the commentor believes the decision was arbitrary, sudden and without justification. I wonder what act would ever move the commentor to declare war? Double the number of deaths? Ten thousand? Twenty thousand?

grackle said...

But these were not global Islamists out to destroy the US.

The Taliban gave refuge and the freedom to Osama bin Laden to plan and carry out 9/11. They helped to kill 3,000 of us. But because they did not have the means to do even more than this the commentor gives the Taliban a free pass. Wow.

They were local thugs looking to take power over a piece of territory following the vacuum of power left from regime change. That has remained a failed project.

Poppycock! The Taliban government, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ruled Afghanistan with an iron hand from 1996 through 2001. That’s a fact that the commentor cannot seem to accept, perhaps because his feeble rationale falls apart without that fantasy.

Afghanistan is mostly controlled by regional warlords … Regime change in Iraq [blah, blah]… Backing regime opponents in Syria [blah, blah] … Libya is a failed state[blah, blah] … How much more of this stupid, horrific, counterproductive behavior do you really think is [blah, blah, blah] …

I’m not interested in the commentor’s views on Iraq, Syria and Libya. I asked the commentor to reconcile this contradiction: … the commentor states that he supports “military operations” against bin Laden but heaven forbid that a POTUS actually mount any military operations in Afghanistan.

Michael Edward McNeil said...

Obama said:
“… it is just wonderful to be back in Oregon, and over the last 15 months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in fifty … seven states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit but my staff would not justify it.”

I am no fan of Barack Obama, but with regard to the 57-state faux pas, I think he was actually counting down from 50 as he attempted to zero in in his own mind to the number of states he'd actually visited in previous months — and inadvertently left a few words out as he enunciated his thought process. In other words, I believe Obama was actually saying [thinking] something along the lines of:

“I've now been in fifty… [or is it forty-] seven states? I think one left to go [i.e., 49]. One left to go [still 49]. [But no,] Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to… [ergo it's 48].”

Nichevo said...

I'm a gay paleocon. What part of the Muslim world do you imagine I find particularly enamoring?
1/19/16, 7:10 PM

The Judenhass?

Rusty said...

I'm not voting for him because he can read a bible. I'm voting for him-so far-because he's making the right conservative noises.
Jesus.

Michael Edward McNeil said...

His statement about never having asked for forgiveness makes him, by definition, a non-Christian.

No one can say that who has ever (at all self-consciously) recited the Lord's prayer.

Big Mike said...

I think most of the people giggling about Trump saying "Two Corinthians" weren't aware that there was a First Corinthians.

Bobby said...

Grackle,

"the commentor states that he supports “military operations” against bin Laden but heaven forbid that a POTUS actually mount any military operations in Afghanistan."

Given that I did five tours in Afghanistan, I obviously don't share J. Farmer's view on stabilization, counterinsurgency and nation-building operations in principle (though, in practice, I'm willing to concede where our efforts have failed- we're obviously not batting 1.000). But I think what Farmer is getting at is that he would have supported precision targeting in the form of surgical strikes against Al Qaeda sanctuaries (including UBL himself) in Afghanistan while otherwise ignoring Taliban power structures and doing nothing to weaken or dismantle their formations. I'd submit that it wasn't really viable- SOF precision targeting is extremely reliant upon time sensitive intelligence and in the Afghan environment (especially in 2001-02) would not have been viable without a much larger conventional force and/or accepting great risks to the operators on the ground. But for people who have never been trained or educated in military tactics, operations and strategy- like most of the commenters on this blog and all of our leading Presidential candidates- it sounds like something we can do, so it's pretty easy to believe in.

Big Mike said...

@Bobby, I blame the Serbs. If they had held out longer and forced Bill Clinton to either back down or put boots on the ground then this idle daydream of Barack Obama and other armchair strategists that they can win a bloodless (on our side) war wouldn't have as much credibility.

Big Mike said...

@Bobby, I saw "13 Hours" yesterday. It gave me a real feeling of urban warfare when you don't know who's a civilian, who's on your side, and who's looking for a chance to blow you away.

Unknown said...

So the current long-tenured head minister at the presbyterian church that Trump claims to attend is a west-indian, Reverend Patrick H. O’Connor, who studied theology at United Theological College of the West Indies. And Trump's mother is an immigrant from Scotland.

https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/sermon/gospel-ministry-pt-2/ is an example of a guy whose sermons are on all the evangelical radio stations across the US, and not 10 seconds from the start he says "open your bibles to two corinthians".

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